This morning I listened to a discussion about whether the Democrats made a mistake in campaigning that Romney was severely conservative, especially in light of Romney’s recent moves to the center, adopting moderate positions not uttered in a GOP campaign.
As if this move to be moderate reflects Romney’s real nature.
It reminded me of feeding my children when they were still in bibs and high chairs.
Old enough for that first streak of independence, that insistence to hold their own spoon, I’d watch and encourage them as they slathered food up towards their own mouths, slurping and cooing as they gummed pureed fruits and veggies.
Inevitably, small stomachs fill, attention drifts and play starts; that’s when spoons hit the floor.
I pick it up, wash it, and hand it back, with a gentle reminder of ‘no’.
My child’s head shakes sideways a few times, echoing ‘No’, even as their hand, firmly grasping the spoon, moves ever so slowly to the side of the chair tray.
The head shakes again… ‘No’. The beautiful baby blue eyes fixed on mine. A slight smile rests above a pudgy chin.
The spoon, now clear of the high-chair tray, drops to the floor.
Did my child, this pre-toddler, just look me in the eyes, smile and use misdirection to lie to me?
I pick it up, wash it, and hand it back, with a firmer reminder of ‘No’.
My child’s head shakes sideways, agreeing ‘No’, even as their hand, firmly grasping the spoon, moves steadily to the side of the chair tray.
I point, as my Mother used to, saying ‘No’ in a firm, serious, fatherly way.
The hand stops. I smile and say “very good, now finish eating”.
The hand starts again, moving to the edge of the tray, my child’s eyes fixed on mine, somehow brighter and bluer than a moment ago, the smile now broader, making the chin even pudgier.
The spoon hits the floor.
We can learn at an early age that a smile and a sincere look can carry us far, letting us get away with things we want to do, fooling others into thinking we mean something we don’t.
We also learn how to spot those people, so that we’re not taken advantage of by their dishonesty.
As a social observer with time on my hands, I’ve had the opportunity to follow the Republican Primary and watch the debates. By Romney’s own words, he’s a ‘severely conservative’ kind of guy. By his own words, he’ll defund Planned Parenthood and Obamacare on day one. By his own words we should still have soldiers and marines fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for years to come (“the Taliban may not have watches, but they have calendars!”).
By his own words, and frankly the most comfortable I’ve seen Romney when speaking (it was behind closed doors to people who could afford $50,000 for surf and turf, and he thought we couldn’t hear), he said he doesn’t care about 47% of us because we don’t take personal responsibility, get government benefits and think we might deserve them.
That’s the spoon.
Once he had the GOP nomination, the move to the center began. He said his health plan allows for pre-existing conditions (it doesn’t). He says he supports womens’ rights to health and choice and fair salary. He says he agrees with the President’s foreign policy and doesn’t believe in sending in troops to the Middle East. He’s now for veterans and seniors and retirees who receive government benefits, and he wants to raise the middle class back to the middle.
That’s the smile and head shake ‘No’. It’s not real, it’s saying whatever works to get his way.
Romney has a good smile, and a preacher’s demeanor, one not so different from car salesmen and hucksters. Regardless of what he says lately, it’s just smiles and misdirection, and not any different from that of my high-chair kids years ago.
Don’t be fooled, if he’s elected, it’s the spoon that is going to drop, and we’re the floor.